Topics Discussed and Key Points:
- How senior living providers can change their marketing strategy following the impact of COVID-19
- Reframing the message of an industry under fire by mainstream media during the pandemic
- Why websites should not limit their assurances regarding COVID-19 to a single page
- Tips on using visual materials such as infographics to improve a brand’s messaging
- Differentiating your assisted living facility from a nursing home
In today’s episode, Debbie speaks with Jeannette McClennan, Co-Founder and President of McClennan Masson and co-author of the book Innovators Anonymous (2018).
Asked how senior living providers can change their marketing strategy in the wake of COVID-19, Jeannette notes that universities are facing deep occupancy issues not unlike those of the senior housing industry.
There are five factors that universities are focusing on which senior living providers can adopt in order to “reimagine” the industry during these turbulent times: occupancy strategy, testing, temp checks, scientific counsel, and communications strategy. The goal is to raise the comfort level of parents as they look to bring their children onto campus, just as adult children who are finding a home for their aging parents need assurance.
Another observable connection between universities and the senior housing industry is the need to shift marketing strategies and budgets to digital. It is “an opportunity to reinvent your brand and switch up your messaging” to adapt to current challenges.
The senior living industry has gotten a bad rap lately in the media. It is important to reframe the message in a way that is authentic yet direct; comforting yet truthful. Jeannette recommends “overcommunicating in advance” to nip fear and doubt in the bud as opposed to doing damage control after the fact.
Style of communication is also key. It is important to “personalize the message down to the individual”, which is best accomplished via a storytelling format using video featuring authority figures. Jeanette recommends providing a personalized, gamified experience for them on your website to bolster familiarity and trust.
Finally, communities should involve the adult children in their messaging, not just the potential residents, in order to get everyone comfortably on board in making this critical decision.
Addressing COVID-19 should go beyond a single webpage. It requires a complete rethinking of the business’s message. “How do you express safety unique to your brand? Demonstrate it throughout your experience, including through your social presence.”